April 23, 2006

Review: The Submarines | Declare A New State!

The Submarines -- Declare A New State!The Submarines' vanilla pop plumbs familiar musical depths on the band's forthcoming debut, Declare A New State! You may already be familiar with the girl (Blake Hazard) and guy (John Dragonetti, a/k/a Jack Drag) behind the musical vessel. Yes, Hazard is the great-granddaughter of F. Scott Fitzgerald. But she may be musically better known for her 2002 Kimchee set Little Airplane. Or not. The stronger musical pedigree is Mr. Drag's, whose eponymous debut of four-track deliciousness ignited college radio interest in the mid-'90s and was the first of a handful of well-received releases.

As for Declare A New State!, the music tends toward optimistic, WB-friendly pop -- in fact one track, "Peace And Hate," has already appeared on the teledrama "Everwood." The set is melodic and light, curiously (almost disappointingly) light for what is described as a musical account of The Submarines' principals' romantic dissolution. Our favorite number in the set is "Modern Inventions," which rocks a little harder and enjoys more adventurous production and is streaming at the act's MySpace drive-thru here. "Darkest Intentions" also stands out on the strength of its eplilogue's sonic depth and more forceful percussion. Much of the rest of the material seems a bit toothless by comparison, although the album peaks toward its far end. Declare A New State! streets June 20 on Nettwerk, but is already available via ITunes and EMusic.

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